Remember the ol’ saying, ‘You chop wood and carry water, you chop wood and carry water, you reach enlightenment, and then you chop wood and carry water.’? Well, this blog isn’t meant to bring your hopes down on your exciting spiritual journey but points a way through the jungle of struggle for what expectations you may have about reaching your bliss, your imagined powerful sense of true freedom with peace and living happily ever after.
Someone once told me that they had finally found true freedom and joy. They could go and do anything they wanted now that their children were out of college and on their own. They said they didn’t strive for money any longer as the universe seemed to provide their needs. They loved living alone and stayed clear of committed relationships but enjoyed friendships as they came along. They also could travel and have adventures at the top of their list. It did seem like they were free and happy and finally content. I asked, “How free are you if your daughter is stricken with a fatal sickness and is in the hospital fighting for her life?”
The true reality of freedom and joy might be different from our own desired concepts, and maybe that is why we yearn for it, or make ourselves believe we have it, or even more so, don’t see it in the world. I’m pointing an arrow towards all the confusion around this topic because freedom and joy, I now believe, (and that could change later mind you) are not to be gained. They lie seemingly latent, invisible, behind all the doing and being, always present in the backdrop of each moment. Could enlightenment be a total nothingness, a ‘nothing’ to put your finger on, a nothing to claim achievement from all our hard work?
Is it really this immense vastness of nothing, still, void of anything, spatial emptiness where you are not seeing, thinking, being, doing, feeling, wanting, or knowing? Some say it sounds like death to them. Nisargadatta Maharaj explained it so well in his talks when he said, “I’m dead already.”
I know this might sound rather bland to the conditioned thinking of this modern world of gain, but once you sip the nectar and the turmoil of all desires dissolve, there is a sense of relaxed relief, peace.
It is awareness of this peace within, that allows freedom and joy. It’s nothing, really, no big deal, always there to choose and spend time in, otherwise, then you chop wood and carry water, but now you are laughing.